Articles

Here’s where you’ll find recent articles about FirstService Residential, as well as our impact on the areas we serve.

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Power Outages and Blackouts - How Your Association Can Minimize Risk

Posted on Wednesday May 10, 2017

Losing power is never fun. But it’s bound to happen at some point, so preparation is the best defense. Obviously, different types of communities are affected by blackouts in different critical ways: high-rises lose their elevators and water; resort-style gated communities lose the ability to operate their gates. For residents, a blackout may be a short-term nuisance. For a community association, it can be a major headache in terms of risk management, safety and potential equipment damage that can provide an unwelcome shock to your budget.

Hurricane Plans and Policies: Reduce Your Association’s Risk

Posted on Friday May 05, 2017

Hurricanes can bring tremendous physical destruction and financial ruin to a community association unless policies are put into place to prepare for the storms before they arrive, and to deal with the consequences afterwards. Every board whose association could possibly be impacted by a hurricane must have a hurricane preparedness policy to help maximize safety, minimize risk and ultimately, protect its operating budget too. And just as important as having a policy is communicating the policy to your residents.

Great Communication Makes the Most of Vendor Relationships

Posted on Thursday May 04, 2017

Working with vendors is a large part of serving on the board of a managed community. Every community has outside partners for services like landscaping, sanitation, cable and Internet provision, pool maintenance, valet services and more. Open and effective communication among the board, the management company and the vendors employed by the association is an important part of making the most of any community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents.

How to Uncover Savings for Your Condo or Co-op Association with an Energy Audit - Energy Efficiency Part 2

Posted on Tuesday May 02, 2017

Improving your building’s energy efficiency is good for your budget and for your property values. Getting a professional energy audit is a crucial step on the road toward energy efficiency. It can tell you which upgrades make the most sense for your property and show you potential energy and cost savings.

Crystal Vision: Why Communication Between a Board and Management Company Matters

Posted on Thursday April 27, 2017

As a board member, you want your community to grow and thrive. Having a vision for your community—the aesthetics of it, its reputation, the kinds of programming it offers and amenities it provides—is critical to its long-term well-being. A well-crafted vision will transcend board and resident turnover and keep your community on track.

Five Ways Your High-Rise Can Spend Less on Energy Costs

Posted on Monday April 24, 2017

No matter where your high-rise building is located, rising energy costs can have a drastic impact on your community association’s budget. A condominium that spends 40 percent of its operating budget on common-area energy will be affected by even a small spike in price. A 10 percent increase in utility costs means that energy takes a full 44 percent of that association’s budget! Pretty scary, isn’t it? But all is not lost! Conserving energy can help your association save money and optimize your high-rise’s annual budget.

How Condo Associations Can Get Ahead of the Energy Benchmarking Trend - Energy Efficiency Part 1

Posted on Tuesday April 18, 2017

Is your condominium or co-op association required to report your building’s annual energy usage? If not, and if yours is a mid-rise or high-rise building (50,000 square feet or larger), get ready. Chances are that mandatory energy benchmarking will be coming to your area soon as energy conservation becomes a higher priority for jurisdictions.

Communication Impacts Every Part of Your Community: Do You Have a Plan?

Posted on Friday April 14, 2017

Is your community always aware of upcoming events, scheduled construction projects and upcoming board meetings? Do they understand their responsibilities and the policies they need to comply with? Clear, effective communication from the board to the residents makes a difference in the overall well-being of any community. Poor communication, on the other hand, is a real problem that can negatively impact your community’s reputation and even your operating budget and property values.

Managing Community Maintenance and Improvement Needs

Posted on Wednesday April 12, 2017

Whether your community is self-managed or professionally managed, maintenance is a big part of the day-to-day responsibilities. It’s a responsibility that can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you walk in on a Monday morning to a list of what went wrong over the weekend.

The Do's and Don’ts of Community Association Warranties

Posted on Friday January 20, 2017

When your homeowners association took control of your community from the developer, a lot of paperwork came with that. Some of the paperwork undoubtedly included a number of warranties. Since then, you have probably collected warranties for a range of products and services your association has purchased. But be honest: How familiar are you with them?

 

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